Tubing on Boulder Creek
If you prefer communing with nature while splashing around, head up to Boulder Creek, where you can float down the current from Eben G. Fine Park to 55th Street on the east side of Boulder. (Don't go higher than the park, experts warn, or you'll hit rocky sections and serious rapids.) Bring your own tube, or rent from a local outfitter like Whitewater Tubing & Recreation on Spruce Street, which also offers shuttle service. Outfit kids with lifejackets and helmets, and only ride the rapids with them when the flow is low. Special bonus: Today is Tube to Work Day in Boulder!
Brighton Oasis Family Aquatic Park
1852 East Bromley Lane, Brighton
Brighton Oasis offers a chance to take advantage of some water park fun at a fraction of the price. Non-Brighton residents pay just $7 for admission and residents get in for a paltry $4.75. Scale the climbing wall and plunge right back into the pool, tackle the pair of twisting slides, soak yourself under a giant dump bucket and then float your way around the many bends of the lazy river. The Oasis added a drop slide for this season; as ever, you can snack from the concessions stand and reserve pavilions for parties. Only catch? No booze.
Chatfield State Park
11500 Roxborough Park Road, Littleton
If you're yearning to break free of swimming pools and head to a beach, Chatfield Lake is right up your alley. This reservoir has a sandy swimming beach open all summer long, plus allows several water sports, including boating, jet-skiing and paddleboarding. Bring a net for the volleyball courts and a picnic. You'll also find several campsites in the park, all within walking distance to the lake. There's also a restaurant in the park, located on the marina.
Eldorado Swimming Pool
294 Artesian Drive
This stunner of a swimming pool — nestled into Eldorado Canyon and fed by the same spring that supplies Eldorado with bottled water — has provided a swimming sanctuary since 1905. You're coming here especially for the views; the canyon walls jut up sharply outside of the Western-themed resort. But kids will like the diving board and the old metal slide. Note that this pool is colder than most: Water comes in from the spring at 76 degrees Fahrenheit, and is heated to 80.
Read on for more of the best places to swim in Colorado.